Three-month warning to car owners over £1k registration plate fine

Drivers who break the rules face a hefty fine
-Credit: (Image: James Maloney/LancsLive)

Motorists have been warned that they could face a £1,000 fine if they break registration plate rules. It comes ahead of the change to 74 number plates for vehicles vehicles registered between September 2024 and the end of February 2025.

Jake Smith of Absolute Reg warned that motorists must 'ensure they're up to scratch with number plate laws' and anyone who doesn't faces being slapped with points on their licence or a failed MOT.

Mr Smith told The Mirror: "Number plate regulations range from the general design to visibility, which makes it an offence to conceal the plate in any way."

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Both front and rear licence plates must always be on display and must be clearly seen without the obstruction of dirt or debris. It is also illegal to put plates on a car that makes it appear younger than it actually is.

For example, you can't put a 74 plate on a car from 2003. The DLVA permits certain flags to be printed on a registration plate including: the Union Jack, Cross of St George, and Red dragon of Wales.

Electric vehicles (EV) can easily be spotted by a green strip but this is only allowed if the car is registered with zero emissions. Gov UK says all characters must be 79mm tall and - except for the letter one - must be 50mm wide.

The character stroke - a term given tot he thickness - must be 14mm and an 11mm gap is required between characters. The space between the age identifier and the random letters must also be 33mm, while the margins at the the top, bottom and side of the plate must be 11mm.

UK drivers should adhere to the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001, and opt for the official Charles Wright font.

According to the government, the number plates on your vehicle must:

  • Be made from a reflective material

  • Display black characters on a white background (front plate)

  • Display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)

  • Not have a background pattern

  • Be marked to show who supplied the number plate

  • Be marked with a British Standard number. This is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021

  • The characters must not be 'removable or reflective'. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.